I got my driving license when I was 17 and in all these years that I have driven, it has always been right hand drive. Even when I was holidaying overseas, I was only comfortable driving in countries which is also right hand drive like Australia.
Although I have been to USA a couple of times now, it's either I was driven around even we rented a car or I would take public transportation or simply just hop on one of their hop on and off buses which by the way is an excellent way to discover the many top tourist attractions around.
With our move to Beijing imminent in just one month, and with China being a country where cars are left hand driven, I am apprehensive and worried as to whether I could adapt to the sudden change or simply go into the wrong lane all the time.. I remembered that I constantly walk to the driver side when I was taking a taxi in Europe.
So, when the recent trip to LA presents the need to drive to San Diego approximately 2 hours away to visit Sea world where renting a car and driving there ourselves seemed like the best and most economical option, I brave myself to immerse into the unknown of driving a left hand driven car for the very first time.
We gave Avis a call since we have corporate rate with them and were told to drop by to select our model. Prior to that I have called and were recommended the economical Ford Focus. I was bracing myself to be either driving a Ford Focus or a Hyundai Accent or similar models.
When we arrived at the Avis showroom, parked just outside, was a glimmering bright red 2 door Ford Mustang convertible and behind her two shining dark blue 2 doors mustangs. They looked so so so cool! I know for a fact that they do made heads turn when they are on the road. I know mine did everytime I see one.
My wife was teasing me as we walked past these beauties and said "I know you would love to rent this." Well, what can I say. She knows me too well. After all she is my better half.
The counter staff attended to us and we wold him exactly what we wanted, an economical model for 3 and we were slapped with the bad news! The Focus we were enquiring has been taken and they have no similar models available right that moment. But the next sentence, took my breath away.
"What we have right now and for the same price are the Ford Mustangs ..."
In my mind, I was like "Are you kidding me? Really? I'll take that! Where do I sign?"
"But is it big enough for us?" my wife had to ask. "Can it take a 29" luggage? Dear, you better go and check first."
I walked to the car fearing the worst. I pop the boot open. "Yes! yes!" I screamed inside me. The boot space is deep enough!
20 minutes later, after all the necessary paperwork was done, I was behind the wheels of my first left hand drive 2 door six cylinders shiny dark blue sleek wide body road hugging Ford Mustang, rearing to tear the road of LA and the freeways of USA.
My first experience driving a left hand drive vehicle turned out better than I expected, much much better I must said.